1Ti 6:20 O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:
One of the most frustrating things to watch is the Christian PseudoScientists pretend that science backs their anti-porn crusade. You can see this in the fake scientist Gary Wilson‘s “Your Brain On Porn” nonsense. The studies directly contradict him. But he doesn’t care, because the people who are listening to him don’t care. He is making money off of their gullibility. They have a religious tradition opinion and they will jump on any “science” that supports their tradition. They don’t actually read the details because it doesn’t matter. Instead they will jump up in church and proclaim – “Even Science will tell you that porn changes your brain.”
There have been many pseudoscience advocates in our lifetime. We have the anti-vaccination people, the laetrile advocates, the “pure” high pH water people, the “paleo-diet” people, etc. All of these people have one thing in common, THEY DON’T ACTUALLY DO RESEARCH.
Research is very hard. It is very strict. As a psychiatrist, I am required to produce one research project in the next 3 years. This is very difficult to do. I have to become a true expert on the question that I am asking. I have to then formulate the question correctly. Then I have to decide what data that I need to answer the question. Then I have to discover the source of the data. I have to then gather the data and compile it into understandable form. I have to find the answer to the question that I asked – which may not be the answer I expected. I have to find the weaknesses of methodology. Finally I have to write and publish the paper resulting from all of this.
This is all hard work. It would be a lot easier to simply do a google search and then selectively quote from studies that OTHER people have done. I can misquote them, take their work out of context, apply it incorrectly, and then proclaim my pre-determined opinion. This is what all of these “Your Brain On Porn” people have done. If you don’t believe me, do this experiment. Go to “PubMed.Com” where all of the medical studies are published and look for an author “Gary Wilson” It isn’t there. Look for anyone else in the Porn Addiction advocate crowd. None of them are there either.
I Tim 4:1-5 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
One of the most common methods of false holiness is asceticism, the attempt to look more holy than others by denying normal and Godly desire.
The medieval Catholics practiced this by forbidding their priests to marry and stopped them from eating meat on Friday and during Lent. This allowed them to feel holy even while their were slaughtering babies, stealing from their neighbors, keeping mistresses, etc.
So also, today, our modern church movement has decided that it has to make up some new rules to make them feel holy. Now, note, one of the most common sins in the pew today is probably fornication. Unmarried couples are openly shacked up together. Dating couples are assumed to be sleeping together. Yet, the church ignores these sins and instead preaches against the boyfriend’s “addiction” to porn.
Turning to fake science, they believe that the man’s sleeping with his girlfriend doesn’t harm his brain, but somehow looking at erotica will. Even though, the Bible clearly forbids the first and promotes the second.
This is not a new phenomenon. Paul said that in the latter times people would depart from the faith and instead preach other doctrines – doctrines of devils. Just because it is “forbidding” does not make it holy. God is not a God of forbidding, but a God of pleasure. When we take pleasure in the proper place (in our marriages, and in imaginations about marriages) then life is holy and pure. When we add in our own commands – morphing the gospel into legalism and pharisaism – then we live lives of bondage and guilt.
So rejoice with the wife of thy youth. Let your fountain be blessed as your watch erotica. Enjoy the pleasures that God gave you and tell the legalists to go read their bible more and preach a false chastity less.
Look, if you want to make a biblical or religious argument against porn, by all means do so. I encourage you to comment and we will discuss it. But if you want to make a scientific argument, you ought to at least look at the science, and it does not say what the new pharisees are proclaiming.
So you’re a sincere Christian man and you have looked at porn your entire life. You feel terribly guilty about this. Your prayers are hindered as a result. All of the “Men’s retreats” at your church concentrate on one subject and one subject only – “Pornography Addiction”. You have tried giving it up multiple times. You confessed to your pastor and got an “accountability partner.” After the first couple of times you stopped telling him how you have “fallen” again. Maybe you even lost him as a friend as a result.
You feel all alone, because your church has placed you on a merry-go-round of eternal guilt. After decades of trying to beat your “porn addiction” you sense that you will always watch it. Maybe you even dropped out of church, since you knew that you must not be a Christian. Christians should be able to overcome at least one addiction!
You have fallen prey to the modern Pharisees. You have been duped into a falsehood. There is no command in the Bible telling you to avoid erotic stories or images. In fact, the opposite is true. The Bible is full of erotica. It describes and treats masturbation just like it treats sex, pregnancy, and menstruation – as normal parts of a holy life. The command to avoid pornography is man’s tradition, not God’s command and certainly not Bible.
Here are the links proving that you are a good Christian with whom God is well-pleased.
Every temptation is not an addiction. Addiction is a medical term, not a spiritual one. As the churches have stopped preaching the gospel of Jesus, they have begun preaching a secular “health” gospel. But while surrendering the authority of the Bible and Christ, they are attempting to argue for the same traditions that held over from more religiously oriented times.
Therefore, while no longer preaching against “lust” they wish to preach against “sex addiction.”
The problem is that medicine is a very poor substitute for God. This article fairly represents how the “porn addiction” nonsense started and why it is not science. If you want to argue against pornography based upon scripture – great – let’s have that discussion. I admit that you have at least a few strong points to make. But if you want to attempt to use MEDICINE then you have nothing of interest to say.
Firstly, the porn addiction advocates have nothing interesting to say because they are not physicians. None of them have any degree higher than a bachelor of arts – except for the occasional, Doctor of Divinity. They don’t do original research, they don’t know how to conduct a clinical study. They don’t know the difference between cohort studies, cross-sectional studies, longitudinal studies, clinical trials, etc. They can’t separate between correlation and causation. They don’t know a category I statistical error from a p-square analysis. They just go searching through google (not google scholar) for any article that supports their pre-determined view.
This is called “confirmation bias” and no one who is participating in it should be allowed to treat anyone.
Secondly the porn addiction advocates have nothing interesting to say because they are arguing dishonestly. If you have a moral or religious position, then that is fine – I have several items that I believe on faith myself. For example, I believe that Jesus was born of a virgin. But it would be insane for me to start trying to prove parthenogenesis (scientific virgin birth) is possible in human beings. It is not. The virgin birth is a miracle, it is not subject to the reasoning of science.
The religious argument against porn is based, I believe, on tradition. A tradition that is very old and has gained ascendancy in the evangelical church for the past couple of centuries. Tradition is not unimportant in religious and moral arguments. Tradition does not always arise by accident and usually has or had a good reason for it in the past. But don’t try to defend it by bringing in poorly understood subjects in science. You simply make yourself foolish.
Finally, the porn addiction advocates have nothing interesting to say because the science doesn’t support their position. Addiction is a very specific thing. At its most basic, it always includes progressive tolerance and pathological effect.
Progressive tolerance is the need for greater amounts of the drug in order to gain the same effect. At first 2 beers could get me buzzed, but now I need 10. But porn only has this effect in the short term. Once the participant has masturbated, it requires more arousal for him to reach climax. But porn does not have this effect over the long term. In fact, the exact opposite happens. The porn viewer becomes more sensitive to porn as he watches more.
In an addiction, the sufferer needs more and more of the substance and enjoys it less and less. This does not happen in porn and sex. When a virgin couple first get married, their sexual unions are awkward and not terribly enjoyable. Only after practice and frequency do they find greater and greater fulfillment. All of sex works this way. Including porn.
The stories of men who started with playboy and ended with torture porn are nonsense. This fairy tale was made up by mass murderer Ted Bundy in an interview with “Dr.” James Dobson. Bundy was trying to find a way to get out of the death penalty. Unsurprisingly, Dobson fell for it and began a movement to get Bundy off. Dobson has a long history of being a good patsy for anyone with a good story.
As any regular viewer of porn will tell you. We do seek higher quality porn, but not more perverse. If porn had to get more perverse in order to be enjoyable, then I should be pretty deep in the mud by now, since I looked at my first playboy at age 11. But, in fact, I don’t like perverse porn. I like a nice high quality video or a couple who show love for one another.
One might argue that my desire for “higher quality” is an increasing tolerance, but this is like saying that enjoying steak is an addiction because one looks for a better restaurant as we grow older.
Secondly, an addiction requires pathological effect. It must hurt the participant. This is why tobacco is an addiction, but caffeine is simply a habit. Porn has not been shown to increase pathological behavior. In fact, the opposite is true. Sex crimes go down when porn becomes more available. Single men seek out fewer illicit liaisons and seek a higher quality of relationship in the women that they court.
If you reply that porn is pathological because it causes problems between couples in which the wife has been indoctrinated with an anti-porn belief, then I am going to tell you that meat is an addiction because you upset vegans by consuming it.